This is the Rich Eisen Show. Why has the Kyrie-Luca marriage put the Mavs in a position to miss this playoffs entirely? Live from the Rich Eisen Show studio in Los Angeles.
This is a team building crisis because the Mavericks were in the conference finals last year. Earlier on the show ESPN Sports Center host Scott Van Pelt. Coming up, Fox Sports college football analyst, Bruce Feldman. Former sports marketing executive, Sonny Vaccaro. And now, it's Rich Eisen. Our number two, the Rich Eisen Show is on the air. Scott Van Pelt, we just hung out with him. He's at Augusta National, part of ESPN's coverage of the Masters Fund Chat. He said Xander Shoffley is his pick to win it all.
844204 Rich, the number to dial for you to have a conversation with us. Eric DaCosta, the general manager of the Baltimore Ravens spoke today. Had a press conference in Baltimore. It went as you might expect. All the questions about Lamar, he's like we're talking about the draft.
Fascinating. Draft is three weeks from tomorrow night in Kansas City. And that's how we turn to our in-studio guest to kick off hour number two from Fox Sports and the Athletic. A fascinating conversation upcoming from a mock draft from a guy who picked a lot of brains at many different levels of football. Bruce Feldman, good to see you, sir.
Good to see you. Okay, so let's jump right into it. Who did you speak to that you can let me know? How many folks did you call your information from to come up with your mock draft? It was probably close to 50 college coaches. And then there was a handful of people that I talked to on the NFL side for added context.
Sure. But really what I try to do with my mock draft is there's a lot of good draft analysts. And I think you probably work with the best one in Daniel. But what I'm trying to do is give fans a sense from who the players are, what the coaches who face them thought. So they've scouted them. They've studied a lot of tape. They've game planned against them. And then when the game has happened, they know exactly what they're trying to do to those players. And they see the results.
They know what their personnel is like. And I think it's a different perspective maybe than some other people have on who these draft prospects are. Well, again, three weeks from tomorrow night, we are going to get an answer to the question is, who did the Carolina Panthers trade all the way up from nine to number one to go get? And right now the general consensus is it's C.J. Stroud. And fascinatingly enough, going into the combine, we all thought it was going to be Bryce Young.
That was when the Bears were still sitting there and we were wondering who they might trade the draft pick to. Walk me through why Stroud is atop your mock draft board. His accuracy is at the elite level. There are guys who I talk to who have been longtime college coaches who face a lot of good quarterbacks. They think he's the most accurate quarterback they've ever played against in terms of ball placement, some of the throws he makes. He's got good size. I think people maybe don't realize he played at Ohio State often over 220 pounds.
He's 6'3". The Ohio State coaches were effusive for a long time about how football smart he is, what he can see. He's a good athlete. I don't think that gets talked about enough because he's been so good as a passer. He followed a great athlete in Justin Fields. But the people I talk to, and you can see this in the piece we did on the athletic, they felt like, hey, maybe the guy he followed, we're not sure how well he saw it.
There's no questions about C.J. and how he sees it. The other thing is- The it being the defense that he's trying to beat.
Yeah. And the biggest thing that I think, you know, he played the closest thing to NFL caliber talent that you're going to see in college football in his last time out against Georgia in the playoff. And he lit them up, right? And so I think people saw how well he moved in there.
They saw his playmaking ability. And to me, he checks every box in a big way. Whereas Bryce Young, a lot of people, there's a lot to love there. But the reality is he's still 5'10-ish, 195 pounds or so. And I think there are legitimate concerns about just durability from a long-term standpoint with him. There's a lot to love about Bryce. But to me, there isn't really anything you can be that worried about with C.J. Whereas Bryce, the durability piece of this, you know, look, he's not Kyler Murray. But Kyler Murray didn't finish the year last year. And Kyler Murray is a lot more dynamic athlete. They're different quarterbacks.
But they're both, you know, smaller guys. And Kyler Murray is actually a little thicker than Bryce is at this point. Well, I mean, in the conversation I heard about Bryce Young at the Combine. And again, this is when he was viewed as the first overall pick in the draft. That was before C.J. Stroud threw it around.
And it's kind of funny. I was like, wow, look at you throwing in the, you know, at the Combine. Against no defenses. And look how beautiful you throw a ball. As if we didn't see the game against Georgia, right?
And that that now is something that puts him atop everyone's draft board. But the conversation about Bryce Young, Bruce, was that I was hearing is like, name me a moment on film, on tape, in the SEC, for Nick Saban and Alabama, where his size was a detriment. Name me a moment where he didn't get up. Name me a moment where his durability was in question.
And there were fewer far between. And in terms of his size being a difference, snap to snap, you couldn't really even point to one. That he has a unique ability to overcome that, for the lack of a better phrase. The one thing that did come up a little bit with some of the SEC coaches I talked to, you know, look at what he played against LSU this year. He did not have eight this past year.
Did not have a great game. And LSU has some elite, bigger athletes who can run. And that gave him a little more trouble than maybe some of these other defenses did.
So I think, you know, yes, he's, I think he's a legit top five caliber player. But I think if you're talking about separating the two, if I was the Panthers based on all I've heard, all I knew, I think it's just he's a lot safer pick, right? Lots of guys never get hurt until they get to play against, you know, the different caliber human beings in the NFL all the time.
Not just, you know, one Saturday every five games or so. Bruce Feldman here from Fox Sports and the Athletic. Check out on the Athletic, Bruce Feldman's mock draft culled from speaking to multiple sources at both levels. You have Anthony Richardson going to the Colts at four.
And Richardson, we had him on the Monday after the draft, I mean, pardon me, after the combine. And he gave a fascinating answer to the ultimate knock with him right now, which is what do you do at Florida, right? I mean, the winds and we're not there in the year prior, obviously, to him coming out in the draft.
And he gave an interesting answer without trying to throw other people under the bus. But he puffed his chest out and said he still did it at the SEC level for Florida. What do you hear from that level about what happened in Florida where he isn't coming off of such a monster season but has had such a monster evaluation season? There's stuff to love in terms of the physical tools, obviously, and the way he can run. He looked really good in the opener against a good Utah team, right? But then after that, it was really inconsistent. I think when people look at him, they're obviously seeing what they think he can be as opposed to what he is.
There was a new system last year. There wasn't great talent around him at Florida. I think the comparisons to Cam Newton to me, I wouldn't be comfortable with because Cam Newton had one year at Auburn. He won a national title. He's arguably the greatest college football player I've ever covered.
And he put them on his back, that whole program. There was really only one other big-time guy on that team, and that was Nick Farrelly, a defensive lineman. The rest of the guys around him, they weren't draft picks. They were free agent types. And again, what he did was remarkable. The Josh Allen comparison, I do give some credence to.
Both guys completed around mid-50 percent. And obviously, one played in the Mountain West at Wyoming, the other one played at Florida. So the competition level, I think, was certainly higher for Anthony Richardson. Also, when Josh Allen played the few games he did against Power Five opponents, he did not look very good. But he went to a system with Brian Deball, who accentuated the things he did really well. Obviously, running the types of reads they gave him, but also the way they used his legs. And then you see even what Deball did with the Giants and Daniel Jones, who had his best year.
We saw him use his legs. I think the reason why I like to fit with him to the Colts, Shane Steichen, who just had Jalen Hurts, and they really brought him along really well and used his legs. I think there's the stuff they can do with Anthony Richardson because, again, the intel I got was people at Florida really like his intangibles. There's a lot to build on. Should he have come out, or should he have stayed another year?
I don't know. If he's going to be a top-five pick, and you get to your second contract as long as you feel like you're going to go to a good place, it is definitely a risk. But there were no guarantees. Next year's quarterback draft might be better than this one because you have Caleb Williams and Drake May likely to be in it. And those guys probably don't have the size question on Bryce, or they're bigger guys, or at least Drake May is certainly bigger. And I think maybe he would have cracked the first pick. But if you're going to be a top-ten pick, as long as it doesn't really adversely affect your development, I think that's key where he goes. Well, you would think that the guy who coordinated Jalen Hurts to such a remarkable season this year would be the perfect guy to have Anthony Richardson in his arsenal. Andy had Justin Herbert as a rookie and did a really nice job. Justin Herbert played a lot more and I think had less accuracy concerns, but also a big, really mobile guy.
And they took advantage of what he did really well and brought him along nicely. Bruce Feldman here on the Rich Eisen Show. You have Will Leviss dropping way out of the top-ten. You have him going all the way down to 20 and will reveal right there that it's to Tennessee. And it's interesting that we mention this now because your mock draft does include trades. So you've got the Giants trading all the way up to 12 to select Oregon's corner. A terrific player in Christian Gonzalez probably trying to beat, as you point out in your article, the Patriots to the punch, knowing Bill. You have the Giants trading all the way up to 12 and you have the Titans, I guess, trading back into the first round to get Will Leviss?
Yeah, I think the interesting part, as you know, it's like who do we have to beat out to get to these guys? I think there will be a cluster of corners that are coming. To me, this is maybe the best position in the draft. I think there are a lot of really good corners. Look, if Julius Branch from K-State doesn't go in the first round, he is a first-round caliber athlete. He's longer than all those guys. He's got really good change of direction. He's really physical. Based on the people I talked to, at least the coaches, there was almost a sense of awe about Devin Witherspoon from Illinois. Who, by the way, just ran a four-four-forty, apparently, Daniel Jeremiah, saying that's what happened at the Illinois pro-date today. Yeah, be loved by somebody the way Daniel loves the Illinois corner, right?
That's right, exactly. But he's super instinctive and he's really physical. He plays like he's Patrick Peterson's size. But I think Christian Gonzalez, because he's longer, he's bigger, he has more straight-line speed. I don't know if he's been as consistent and maybe showed to be as instinctive or the playmaker that Witherspoon was last year. But I do think people are going to look at him as, ooh, we don't want to miss out on this run on corners.
That's why the Giants moving. As far as the Titans, I think their first move is to go try to get Jackson Smith and Jigba if he's there. I think he's clearly the best receiver in this draft. And for context, Ohio State produced two first-round receivers last year, obviously Chris Alave and Garrett Wilson. Both guys had terrific rookie years. They both were 1,000-yard receivers.
And almost all the coaches I talked to who played all those guys thought Jackson Smith and Jigba is a better player than those guys are. Better change of direction, more physical, better size, and I think he's a really good fit for the Titans. The reason why I have them dropping down, jumping back up, is because I think Levis could be a good fit there. You have Ryan Tannehill, 35, a little banged up the last couple of years, and also this is the last year of his deal.
It would be a good situation for Levis to go in there. He is a polarizing guy to some degree like Anthony Richardson. Both guys, elite arm strength, good athletes. He runs well, obviously not as well as Anthony Richardson, but very inconsistent. His first year as a starter there, he came in after spring ball, so he didn't have time to acclimate. Liam Cohen was the new offensive coordinator, and he had a terrific year. Then last year, Liam Cohen goes back to the NFL.
They lose a bunch of good offensive linemen and Wandel Robinson. People can see from what I was told by the coaches, just they felt like he was kind of seeing ghosts. They didn't feel like he was as accurate or maybe had trusted what he was doing.
The system wasn't as good. I get why there is a little bit of concern with him. Probably, like I said, the same with Richardson, but maybe not as high of a potential. Okay, and then if we look at the top 10, you have the Raiders where a lot of people are penciling Will Levis in.
You have been choosing Parrish Johnson as the first offensive lineman off the board out of Ohio State. So you think that Will Levis is on the board, they're going to go with protecting Jimmy G or whomever they're going to get at some point? That that's their first order of business for the Vegas Raiders?
I would think so. I don't think you bring in Jimmy Garoppolo to take somebody else. I don't think the Raiders are going to look at him and go, okay, if we had the first pick in the draft, we got to take him. I think you have to shore up your offensive line just that much more. Now look, if they feel really confident on the left side, they could end up going for somebody else and then say, hey, there's a really good right tackle from Tennessee who I don't think goes in the first 20 picks because he's a right tackle. But everybody in the SEC I spoke to loved him. They thought he was a nasty, really physical road grader who moves better than you think. And if they wanted right tackle, maybe they go someplace else or they drop down to try to get him because I don't think you're taking a right tackle in the top 10.
Okay. And then because, again, you have some trades, as we've just established, the Giants moving up to 12 to take Wilkins out of out of Oregon, right? No, Christian Gonzalez, pardon me, out of Oregon and then Titans moving up to take Will Leviss. And again, this may just be a gut feel mock draft thing. But in case you have gotten some information that you're willing to share, you don't think anybody is going to trade up with the Cardinals at three and they're just going to take Willie Anderson? You don't think there's going to be some sort of godfather offer of somebody for Anthony Richardson knowing the Colts are sitting out there?
If I am the Cardinals, I am not like I think he might be the surest thing in this draft. He is such a good player. He plays Will Anderson, plays so hard, was really productive. If you can get him, I think you regret not taking him.
I don't know what kind of package somebody would give, but if you're talking about packaging like that, somebody else's first with a second and a fourth or something, I'm sorry. I think Will Anderson is going to be an all pro numerous times over. And I think he is exactly what they need in terms of to upgrade their defense and really change kind of the demeanor of the place.
I think he's that good of a player. And this is going to be like one of the best games of chicken I can recall in recent drafts here, where the Colts will have to sit there and think if they really, really want Richardson. Let's just assume that.
I know what assuming can be. But just maybe flipping something to Arizona to just move up one and just remove all doubt, then Arizona can move down, get some more picks and still get Will Anderson. Or if somebody is jonesing for the motherlode for Arizona would be they trade from three down to four and then trade out again. Unless they love Will Anderson so damn much, they can do that.
I'm just wondering, what are you hearing before we'll take a break, if you don't mind, and we'll hit some other things. What are you hearing about the Richardson buzz that somebody will just go for it and get him at three to beat the Colts to the punch? There's definitely a quarterback coach in the NFL I've talked to who says that's their number one guy on their board. Because he just has unreal physical tools to work with. But he has a project in terms of what you have to do with him.
So having said that, obviously anything can happen once you get closer to it. I just come back to Will Anderson though. This guy was the best defensive football player in college football the last couple of years. And his motor never stops. He's really good against the run.
He's really physical. You pass on him, you better get somebody who's going to be a potential Hall of Famer. If you ask me, and I remember I did this project a couple of years ago where it was my mock draft.
And I went back and looked at it a couple of years ago when Micah Parsons was there. One of the guys I talked to uses the term he's a future Hall of Famer. If it's short of Micah Parsons, I'm not sure how many in the last couple of years defensive front seven guys. I would be like yeah, if you have the chance to take this guy, unless you desperately need a quarterback, desperately.
I don't know how you let him go. Bruce Feldman here from Fox Sports The Athletic. There's so many other conversations to be had off your mock draft.
Let's take a break if you don't mind. I'd like to have one about Jalen Carter. What's going on with him? What you're hearing about what happened in Georgia? What you're hearing about draft boards in regards to him? Where you have him in your mock draft and why? Also why Tennessee would move up to 20 to try and beat someone to the punch for Will Levis. I'm wondering what you're hearing about why you've got the Vikings taking a quarterback. And then of course there's the Michigan-Ohio State stuff I just got to dive into. You know, because that's just me. Hopefully everybody understands.
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Call clickgrainger.com or just stop by. Bruce Feldman sticking around here from the athletic and Fox Sports. But the athletic piece with his mock draft is just fascinating. You have Jalen Carter at five to Seattle and it's very difficult when you're as talented as Jalen Carter to have a pro day as poor as the one that he supposedly had. That's all I'm hearing is he looked out of shape.
He looked uninterested. That's what you hear. Then you hear stories that he's taken off of draft boards. OK, I find that one hard to believe, but there is the reason why he left the combine as well, facing charges locally about somebody being killed in what appears to be two people in a car accident. So there's everything together.
And then this is my long wind up. Drew Rosenhaus tells our friend Adam Schefter, hey, we're only visiting teams that have a top 10 pick. So if there's anybody out there saying he's fallen out of the top 10, guess what? You're out of the top 10, you're falling out of the Jalen Carter business, which is a fascinating way to spin things. What are you hearing about Jalen Carter right now as we're sitting here almost three weeks before the draft? I think there may be some teams that will take him off their board. And I think there will be a lot of other teams who will say this guy is just too gifted for us to pass on an opportunity. You're going to see him at a value, the fact that he would not be in the top four. The people I talked to said when they watched Georgia in 2021, that was a defense that had three first round defensive line, including the first pick of the draft.
This was the most talented of all of them. This guy was. And the issues off the field, I think, are legitimate concerns. But how many times have we seen the NFL have character questions on guys and give those guys a second chance or another chance? One of the people he's been compared to for a long time is a former colleague of yours, Warren Sapp. They're from the same place. They grew up in the same place like Warren Sapp.
He basically was a tight end before he really became a defensive lineman. You know, Warren Sapp have, you know, fell in the draft. I don't think the team that drafted him felt really, you know, felt like they regretted taking him. They won a Super Bowl. I should say he's in their ring of honor.
Yeah. So I think people look at him and Carter and be like, you know, there's nobody else like him in this draft. And there isn't, you know, there's a bunch of good quarterbacks and there's a bunch of really good cornerbacks. And there's some good edge rushers. There's nobody in there like him.
I mean, Pete Carroll gets them. And if he's right and that is there is an if, but, you know, is he Cortez Kennedy for them? I mean, Cortez Kennedy did not have the character question marks, but he was, you know, he came from junior college. He was, you know, when he got to Miami and then he kind of exploded in that last year. It's a different he had a different arc than what Jalen Carter has had. But if you get Jalen Carter and all of a sudden now Jalen Carter is feels like he's got a chip on his shoulder because he wants to prove something. Look out, because, you know, you name the coach who played him. They're all like, if he didn't want to be blocked, nobody was blocking him.
You know, he was just different. So what are you hearing out of Georgia about the charges that he is facing? What do you know about that? You know, there right now, there are misdemeanors. I think there are some some concerns just from a maturity standpoint. You know, one of the things you had heard was just like, you know, the guy who coached him, the D-line coach, was like, look, he has a chip on his shoulder, but a lot of defensive linemen do. And they did not have, from the people I talked to there, like big red flags on him. They did not have red flags on him? At Georgia, no.
Now, there was definitely some some maturity challenges that they were navigating. But honestly, Georgia did not. That's one of the few places that was so stacked in the D-line room. You know, if Jalen Carter was going to be such a locker room problem, I think I really do believe they would not have kept him around and he would not have played. Now, he did play this past year with a high ankle.
He hurt it almost in the beginning, the beginning of the game against Oregon. And I think last, you know, 2022's film was not as impressive as 2021 because, like I said, he was not healthy for for a bunch of it. But I just think you look at this stuff that he is capable of doing and has done. He's going to be tough to pass up if you're the Seahawks sitting there at number five and you're looking to say, hey, we can get a dominant defensive lineman who you know, you look at who's playing in the Super Bowl, you know, whether whether you have, you know, Chris Jones or Fletcher Cox or some of these guys who previously he's not Aaron Donald because he's different size. But, you know, elite defensive linemen are not they're not that easy to find that that much of a difference maker.
Bruce Feldman, Fox Sports, the athletic here on the Rich Eisen Show. So you believe the Seahawks will use the choice they have at five that they got in the Russell Wilson trade on Jalen Carter. And then we already established in our previous segment that you think the Titans will trade up to 20 to use trade backup, the trade trade back up into the draft from the second round back in the first round to take Will Levis at 20. That is Seattle's current spot with their own pick. And I find it interesting that, you know, Pete Carroll was talking on this show that, hey, we're not going to be in the top five very often.
We don't plan on being back there. We're going to kick tires on quarterbacks and they got Geno Smith signed for a couple of years. So you think they're going to trade out of that spot, maybe to allow someone else to take Will Levis? And that team that takes Will Levis will take that spot, because in the next third of the draft of the first round, you have the Vikings using their first round pick on Hendon Hooker. What gives you the sense that the Vikings are going to go use a first round pick with Kirk Cousins, obviously, at the end of his current deal for the kid coming back from an ACL injury here?
What do you think? The buzz, I think, on Hendon Hooker is really going way up. I had when I was in India, I had lunch with a quarterback coach in the NFL and I said, who really impressed you in the meetings? And usually a lot of guys do because they're you know, that's how it's scripted. It's scripted it is kind of, but he was like, love Hendon Hooker, his demeanor was great. Not only did he have great knowledge of what they did at Tennessee, he had great knowledge of what they did at his previous place, Virginia Tech, why they call things different things, and was just kind of wowed by him.
And then when I started talking to more people about him, he was the guy who probably one of maybe three or four, who you'd hear people who are just gushing about in terms of loved his pocket presence, thought he saw it well. We get it that the offense they run is very different. It is what Josh Heupel does is all is kind of comes from the Art Briles Baylor system. And there are some, you know, like the routes are different. The routes aren't really even routes.
It's just, you know, half field reads. And there's a lot of stuff that I think is going to you're going to have to project with him. But he has played in another system. He did learn this.
He not only did he learn it. Tennessee football was has been in a ditch for like 15 years. Hendon Hooker had a was a big reason why not only to get out of it, they had a top 10 season.
Yeah, they beat Alabama. At one point, he was the Heisman front runner. And yes, he is coming off an ACL. But if he goes to the Vikings, you don't need him to come in and play right away.
I think he can get acclimated. Kevin O'Connell, we know is good with quarterbacks. We know the structure there should be good. There's good young receivers. I think he is in a that would be an ideal spot for him. And people I've talked to think Hendon Hooker wouldn't surprise him if he went above Will Levis.
I mean, they like him that much and they're intrigued by him. You know, yes, it's going to be a projection with his offense, what he did, but he has time. He's not going to be battling for the job right away.
Right. So what's the sense of when he could be ready? Is this year a wash for him or what are you hearing? I think it's a wash, but I you know, at one point somebody told me they thought, you know, maybe by midseason he could be ready to go if need be. But I don't think you're taking him knowing. Oh, because if you're putting somebody in at that point, your season's probably especially when you're drafting there.
Yes. You know, you're not expecting to make a win the last five games and then get hot and go into the playoff. I imagine you just want him to really get acclimated to what they do in the NFL and keep developing, because you think his potential is what these other coaches who played him think.
I mean, they just really were high on him. Bruce Feldman here on the Rich Eisen Show. In the few minutes I have left with you, I know you already mentioned next year's draft. There's Caleb Williams, there's Drake May. But I want to talk about last year's draft for a brief bit with you, even though I know we're talking about the current draft and maybe the future draft based on your mock draft. But the reason why I want to bring up Desmond Ritter and Sam Howell to you is both Atlanta and Washington appeared to be saying, we're in on these guys we drafted last year instead of going for broke literally and maybe figuratively and literally on Lamar Jackson. So what about these two guys, Ritter and Howell, makes you think these are the right choices now. And I know there's cap choices and I know that there is everything else with Lamar. He didn't finish the last two seasons. But these are two kids that got drafted in the second and I believe fifth round respectively by their teams last year.
I mean, what was your knowledge about them coming in that makes you think, OK, they might be ready in 2023 with a huge amount of pressure based on what the teams didn't do to give them the opportunities this year? I'm not sold on, you know, on Desmond Ritter. I that one. It's like, you know, he's he was pretty good in a lot of things. I don't you know, he he I think he ran faster than what people at the combine than I think what people saw on film. He was a good he was a really good player on a team that kept on getting better and better at Cincinnati.
But I would I am hesitant on that one. I know Washington really likes Sam Howell and he had a prolific career at at UNC. But again, this is a guy who, you know, as much as they liked him, he's so they still took him in the fifth round. I I think they're in a position where it's like, all right, we're going to give this year to say it's almost like a make or break year for you. And then if it doesn't, if you do not wow us or do not tell us in the first, you know, six weeks, you know, six weeks of the season, we got to be looking and saying, I mean, if I'm Washington, I know, you know, maybe ownership doesn't necessarily like this. But if if he does not convince you that he is going to be a franchise quarterback, you're doing everything you can to bring Caleb Williams, who is from Washington, D.C., home. And I think at that point, you're saying that's that's our guy, because if you're them and you're looking and saying, Will Levis, you're not taking a hand in hooker in terms of. If you're Washington, because you need somebody to play now, if you if you're going to take a quarterback.
So I mean, it's 16. Yeah. So I in that regard, I don't know if Washington, you know, do you do you do everything you can to move up in the top four? I don't know what you're giving up is Lamar.
You want to talk about somebody who's playing football in the mid-Atlantic. You know what I mean? Like, that's the point.
And they didn't even apparently twitch in that direction. And you mentioned ownership. It does appear. Who knows? Ownership may change.
You talk about handing the keys to a Ferrari like, you know, Ferris Bueller here. I mean, they are. They've got Terry McClure and they've got Curtis Samuel. They've got Johan Dotson, a whole bunch of, you know, big 10 players that are now becoming that's better skill talent than what Lamar is saying. That's why I'm saying you take Lamar and you put him there. But Sam Howell is a guy that didn't have much talent around him in his senior year or his last.
But he had a ton around him early in his career. And I was prolific, but the Lamar thing puzzled me, too. And I had a conversation with somebody I know really well who is on one of these teams that needs a quarterback.
I think. And this person is not a not a decision maker when it comes to that. And I was just like, to me, go do everything you can to get Lamar. I mean, you know, whether Lamar can be Lamar five years from now, maybe that's another conversation.
But I just think if you want to be a Super Bowl contender, you add him into, you know, you see what he has done. You know, and he's still young. Like he's not much older than Hendon Hooker. I mean, it's true. Like it's I don't know what the math is on there.
He might be a year and a half older than Hendon Hooker. I don't know. I'm sure Twitter can explain why there's a lot of skepticism on Lamar and why you don't like that. I don't get I think when you see what he's done in the NFL with what he's been what's been around him. Yes. I'm talking about franchise guy. I mean, I don't know.
I think it would rejuvenate, you know, a down especially if you haven't won in a while. You know, get your fan base excited. He is an exciting player. I don't know.
I don't understand why he is why he is not getting treated the way I think he has earned it. And the last couple of minutes I have with you, Bruce Feldman, a moment for me here. We're sitting on this show. Was it last week? Looked up at ESPN.
There was a young man with his family around him. And and he chose Michigan. Jaden Davis. OK, always comes back to. No, no, no. Again. And and and this is where I'm going with it.
Hold on. Is that Harbaugh two years in a row now has come this close to going back to the NFL. It feels he literally on a signing day two years ago was talking to the Vikings on a signing day. And this past year, I mean, it was as red hot as possible after he said, you know, people are going to be so upset when I come back to Michigan. And then he's talking to the Broncos.
I mean, it was it was wild. And every single day for all us in the Michigan fan base were like, he's just going to ruin it when it comes to recruiting. Who's going to come? And this kid chooses Michigan over Clemson in North Carolina and another school that escapes me off the top of my head. But and he says the reason why he's going is because of Harbaugh.
He wants to run through a wall for him. So what what what gives? How is this just continuing? I'm not I'm not complaining about it. It's just wild to me. I feel like they're there. There is more buzz right now around them recruiting wise than there has been since he's been there.
Right. And part of that is because you've kicked the butts of Ohio State in back to back years. People saw that the fact that he's still there. This will be his most talented team he's ever had in Ann Arbor.
I think they're really, really interesting because they had all these kids. Blake Corum, most notably because, you know, we know the story about running backs and the, you know, their shelf life. I am fascinated to see what Michigan football looks like in 2023 because, you know, they they didn't you know, they they you and I were both in the building when they lost the TCU. I think the biggest challenge for Jim Harbaugh is being some of the people who he really leaned on to push back on him at times in the last couple of years are not there anymore.
And but the talent is is really, really good now. I think the Big Ten East is going to be wild because Ohio State, you have to replace CJ. But there's still Ohio State. They still recruited incredibly well.
Right. You have Penn State. They love their their young quarterback, Drowler, who's taken over. They just want to, you know, like this should be a really scary Penn State team.
So now you have three teams who feel like they are legit playoff contenders. I think Jim Harbaugh is going to be really interesting to watch this year. So it just it he doesn't skip a beat, even though he's he's he's he's made and we could say footsie or whatever. He defies logic. He is like he is so unusual is not the nicest way to put it.
But like when he wins, it's hard for people to understand, like, you know, why? Why was he able to do what he did at Stanford? It's one of the greatest coaching turnaround jobs that anybody has done in college football in the last, at least in my lifetime. And then he went to Michigan and he got them better and then he kind of plateaued. And then all of a sudden, you know, we talked a lot about what they did to kind of hit the gas and plow up the hill. And they did.
And now it's like they're on a different level. Can they win a national title? He's shown he can he's shown he can be the big bully of the Big Ten.
And that matters. Now, can they? And these are the kind of kids and these are kind of recruiting battles you need to win if you are going to make a run at a national title. And think about the teams now that have to replace key guys. I mean, Georgia's position well to make a run at doing something nobody's ever done in college football, which is win is win three in a row. Alabama only has to place replace its starting quarterback Bryce. They have to replace the best player in the program or the best defensive player in the program.
You know, Will Anderson. I mean, the team, no C.J. at Ohio State. There are definite question marks of all the teams that are that you think are like, oh, yeah, but they're there. So I don't know if there was a year when Jim Harbaugh could win a national title at Michigan, man, this is the one that it shapes up. And there's USC out here, though. I mean, there's Caleb Williams. You want to talk about the number one overall pick in next year's draft. You could pretty much say, you know, knock on wood, he stays healthy.
That's it. I mean, yeah, they just need to get a lot better on defense. They couldn't tackle Utah and they were physically not ready to play, you know, defense against really physical teams. And I think they'll get better.
I just they have to get a lot better. Thanks for this. This is great, man. Appreciate it. I could truly fill another hour with you, but I won't because I know you got to coach your kids.
I know you got to coach your kids. So thanks again, Bruce. Appreciate it. Everybody check out Bruce Feldman's mock draft 1.0. You can do a 2.0. This is it. No, this is I may do a draft confidential, but this is it. So you still call it 1.0? I don't think I did.
I think that I think he did. OK, very good. Bruce Feldman, everybody check him out on Twitter as well as the athletic. And then in the fall on Fox Sports, eight four four two oh four rich numbered a dollar.
Well, Eric DeCosta of the Ravens has spoken. We'll talk about that shortly. I don't know if there's anything quite like it in the form of entertainment.
There's not. Get into the WrestleMania spirit with the podcast Heat Network. Wherever you listen. Eight four four two oh four rich numbered a dollar. Still here on the Rich Eisen show set for another hour. Coming up, Sonny Vicaro top of the next hour as well. We have a great exchange between the Ravens front office and the media. And a press conference held today to talk about the draft and nobody else wanted to talk about that.
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Monster.com. How about Bruce saying he's not sold on Desmond Ritter? I keep on telling everybody this. Now that's you know, that's one man's opinion. Arthur Smith has another opinion. And part of the opinion that he might have for Desmond Ritter is they liked him. He liked him X, Y and Z. He's seen him and he's seen him in practice. He's seen him this. He's seen him that. So he absolutely 100 percent believes in Desmond Ritter.
He's the coach of the Atlanta Falcons. And then they're in these meetings and they talk all about how much things cost. That's the issue. How much Lamar costs. But if these teams do not win with the chips, with the bets that they're making with their young kids. And Lamar goes somewhere else and wins a ton. Could you imagine what that's going to look like? Not good. Correct. Not good. That's the way you lose jobs. Yes. Now, what you can say, what can save you on your job is you can then turn to the owner who's looking at you and saying, you know, you're fired or I'm thinking of firing you or you need to do the X, Y and Z.
You're the one who didn't want to stroke the check. It's a team effort here. This is all assuming this is all assumption.
All of it. How about also an interesting aspect of what Bruce just said is that Caleb Williams is from the mid-Atlantic. And if you're the new owners of the Washington commanders. Yeah, right.
You want to do everything you can to go and get this kid. But the problem is, is commanders aren't remotely close to the worst team in the league. They're not. You've got to be the worst team in the league to get Caleb Williams next year. Period. End of story. Unless Drake May has like a Joe Burrow type season. Oh, it's true. I mean, going into the Burrow two final years, it was to his world.
We're all rent payers. And then Burrow had an incredible year. Joe Burrow came out of nowhere, had maybe the greatest college football season ever.
And right. Obviously, he was the number one pick. It could happen. I mean, you never know.
Stranger things have happened. Nobody saw Cam Newton doing what he did at Auburn. Like you hear Bruce say, one player get drafted on his team. Nobody on offense.
I'm just stunned. Dan Snyder is already out. I mean, what does it matter to him if the new owners get stuck with a two hundred million dollar guaranteed contract?
What does it matter to him? It actually, Lamar Jackson actually kind of boosts the value of the team. The already insane value. But yes.
Because the value of the team. Yeah. Richard, you say that, right? I think sports fans, we look at one thing, right? We look at did you win?
Did you not win? Right? Yes, sir. But when it comes to these businessmen, these owners, like you just said, that's the bottom line is making money. Lamar Jackson is going to make your franchise money off the field. Jersey sales, things of that nature. You're in the NFC East. You already got the deck stacked against you in terms of chatter.
Yeah. Because your team resides within. We live rent free in people's heads, man. The Dallas Cowboys are the number one talked about team maybe in sports. The only the only club that comes close to it would be any team that Lebron's on.
Certainly the Lakers with Lebron would come close to it. The Philadelphia Eagles just went to the Super Bowl. They're returning a team that can win the Super Bowl again. At some point, Jalen Hurts is going to sign a monster contract. I believe Jalen Hurts will wind up on the cover of Madden. He's the perfect person to do that. OK, I think so.
He might be the first quarterback taken in your fantasy draft this fall. And these are metrics. And when you're having your team talked about the Giants sit in New York. And then there's the Washington commanders.
You want to talk about branding issues? Your team was called football team for a while. And a lot of people think that's better than the current moniker your team has. You're one of them. I'm one of those. Go back to being the WFT instead of WTF.
It's what I call them anyway. You would flip the switch. You would be talked about on the spot.
You get Lamar Jackson. You would be on national television. You will be talked about.
You will have so many eyes on you. And by the way, on top of it, you can win the Super Bowl with the offense and the defense and the young guys that you have. And the coach who's won coach of the year multiple times. Shrug emoji on that one.
I still don't understand. I mean, and I hope for them because I love Rivera. That Sam Howells, the guy I hope for him. I sure do. Now, at the 16th overall pick, do they maybe get this Levis drop there and they like him?
Do they go hand in hooker right there? Or are you not tank tank and hope you can't not tank tank. There is no not tank tanking in the NFL. There's none. You can't do that.
You cannot do that. Yes, everyone's going to play hard. No one's outrightly trying to lose. But you can make decisions as a front office that gives your team the best chance to not win. Tell me how they used to how that worked for the Houston Texans in the final week of the season. We're at every reason to take weird stuff, weird stuff happens, but I'm saying they did the best they could to try to get the number one. And there's grown ass men who want to win every game because they also know their jobs are on the line and they're not tanking.
I didn't say I didn't say they were. No, I know that front office. The only way that you the way that you do that is you trade away your players.
You send people away. OK, you feel an XFL team like, say, Roquan Smith goes and winds up in Baltimore. But those Bears teams that that that that lost all those games, how many times there was like one play? Justin Fields had a eye popping wow play that put them inside the five yard line that got called back for holding. Otherwise, they could have scored any time they could have won any of those games. And they're not the ones that could be trading with the Carolina Panthers making a mint.
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